Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finding a Tutor

I love art. I dabble in drawing myself. I love to look at fine works of art of horses and dogs. If you notice my blog roll I have one blog I follow called “Epona Studios.” Deborah O’Sullivan has done some very lovely works of horses in general and dessage horses in particular. Just beautiful.

Today she had a guest blogger who talked about finding an art tutor. So much of it rings true for finding a teacher/ trainer/ tutor/ mentor of anything I wanted to share a link to that blog. I make no secret that finding my trainer has been key to me getting over so many issues. I also know that my attitude has played a key role in my willingness to get over myself at times. Corrie, of course, has been a great steady partner to me too.

Some of points I really appreciated that Charles Sluga brought up in looking for a trainer are the ones that really push the student to be her own person and find her own style. Also the points that show that the trainer is her own person and does not just follow the steps of another. There has to mutual respect between a tutor and a student. and no egos. All very good points.

On the flip side, I think we often put a lot on our trainers and forget that we too have a role to play. The first thing Charles Sluga points out is that the student needs to work hard. I know I can be a slacker sometimes, waiting to be pushed. Yet I do go out and work with my horse everyday. I think a lot of trainers would be surprised to see “ask questions.” So many trainers I know are really intimidated if their students start asking too many questions, yet we really need to.

When I got to the point that the student should not “be only interested in the final result.” I had to chuckle. How many students have their eyes on a prize that is way off in the future when they should be happy with the small victories that they made today. It’s okay, you can raise you hand, mine is already up.

Go take a look, it is a really well written insightful post.


  1. That's where friends come in a lot of the time. Even if you can't see your own progress, they can.

  2. Good stuff - one of the best ways to tell a good trainer from a not-so-good-trainer is their openness to learning new things and their willingness to consider and try to answer questions.

  3. @Leah - I couldn't agree with you more. My husband can be my greatest source of encouragement. His positive attitude helps me find the good parts of any ride.

    @Kate - That's one thing that I've always admired about our trainer. He will never say that his way is the only way and he is always open to learning a new approach. I always ask questions and he always does his best to explain in detail.

    @Beth - I think it really is a common problem where the end result is that the trainer can get the job done but the student cannot. As you say, the student has a role to play, too. With Page I was very much in the pattern where I let our trainer do all the work, and I enjoyed watching my horse go. It didn't take long before I was completely out of sync with my horse. With Dee we are doing things completely the opposite. In the past 3 1/2 months our trainer has maybe ridden her 4 times. Instead I do the riding every day and he tells me how to find progress. Can I tell you how rewarding that has been?! Can I tell you how much I've learned?! Sure, the horse is maybe not progressing as quickly as she would if she was being ridden by the trainer every day but we are still making progress, and we're making progress together. I love being so involved. I feel so much more able to fix issues. It was just last night that I was telling my husband how proud I am right now. My horse is better than she was when we got her, and I am the one helping her get there. The fact that our trainer has been able to give that to me has definitely singled him out as being a really good trainer!

    Sorry about rambling on! Great post!

  4. Just one more thing (really). I loved his point about "Someone who will not spoon feed you". I really got scolded one day by our trainer for just that sort of thing. He told me that I really need to go out on my own sometimes and try to work things out for myself instead of just waiting to be told the answer. He said "you're not going to screw up your horse just like that". He encourages me to experiment. He gives me the tools, I need to learn how to use them.

    Once again, great post. It will make me think a bit now everytime I kinda complain about the guy lol.

  5. Thanks for the link. I'll go take a look now.

    A good trainer is worth their weight in gold. There also has to be give and take and respect with all the parties involved.

  6. Thanks for sharing.

    --I have no clue how I read some of your posts and not others. For some reason only a few of them are showing up in Google Reader. All very strange. Oh well I'm enjoying reading back over them. I hope you don't mind all of my comments. :)


Thank you so much for your positive comments. I love you hear from you!